Modern electronic-cigarettes have only been around since 2006, but are really starting to pick up steam in the industry. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes produce water vapor, so there is no ash, smoke, or bad smell. Since the first electronic-cigarette was made, technology in every industry (including the tobacco industry) has been constantly changing. These changes has seen a sudden increase in the manufacture, sale and popularity of electronic cigarettes around the world. One company that makes and sells this new smoking alternatives also known as e-cigarettes is Vapor4Life.
Vapor4Life was formed by Steve Milin in April 2009. Since then, the company has continued to produce battery-operated e-cigarettes that can be recharged up to 300 times. Furthermore, the company offers a variety of flavors (over 150) and seven nicotine levels that can be used in many places where smokers are not allowed to smoke.
In a bid to conduct a review of Vapor4Life (V4L)’s electronic-cigarettes, we were sent 3 sets of V4L e-cigarette kits. Each kit was passed onto 3 independent smokers, 2 of whom were active e-cigarette users, to be tested. Overall, their responses were very good particularly when compared to their experiences of using other e-cigarettes. All three testers said they would recommend V4L e-cigarettes to other smokers as an excellent alternative to smoking. Among the strongest points mentioned were the packaging, flavor varieties and battery life.
The following feedback was received from one of our independent reviewers.
“I have been using the V4L electric cigarette for five days now, and my opinion is mixed, but rather positive on the whole. I had been a smoker for about seven years in total, with a three year long ‘break’ in the middle. Lately, I have been a sort of ‘on and off again’ smoker. I like the experience of smoking, but I realise its adverse consequences on my health and my purse, and also on my sports performance. I’ve always found nicotine addiction to be the easier aspect to deal with when deciding to put down smokes for a while. The craving is significantly lower after a few days, which I find manageable; just don’t light a cigarette, that’s it. However, I always start to miss smoking for the puffing, the habit and the taste after a while. Therefore, electric cigarettes seemed to be a plausible solution.
Well, as I wrote before, the feeling is mixed. I’ve never tried other e-cigarettes before, so I can only talk about this one. Before trying it, I have not been smoking for a bit more than a month. I opted for a low-nicotine cartridge, but I’ve also tried stronger ones. The stronger are closer to real smoking, with regards to the feeling at the back of the throat when inhaling the vapour, but for just puffing, the lighter was much better. I’ve particularly enjoyed the cappuccino flavour, although I never liked flavoured tobacco before. What is great though is that I can use it in the office and in a pub; and what is also very important, without disturbing anyone. But it’s not smoking. Maybe it’s unfair to compare it to cigarettes as the ‘real thing’ all the time. If one would use it parallel to regular cigarettes (at work, home or in the car for example), I think this product may be very good. To substitute completely for cigarettes, a bit less good, in which case the decision needs to be made to put down cigarettes to begin with. For people like me, who don’t want to be smoking but enjoy to mess about with it once in a while, it’s about fine, but I expect the initial enthusiasm will wear off. In other words, if I needed to provide for my daily nicotine intake, it would be a good alternative, but for the sheer enjoyment of smoking it’s just not as good. But I think this is not really specific to the product.
So, about the product. I think it looks nice, has a good feeling of quality about it and the cartridges are comfortable to handle and switch. The battery could be lighter, it’s too heavy to just leave it hanging in your mouth. I don’t get it about the light at the tip though. Is it really that necessary? If so, I can’t see why it needs to be purple and behind a ‘diamond-cut’ plastic or glass (I know not all lights are purple). It’s not really disturbing, but I’d be happier with no light, or just plain transparent material instead of the jewel-like one. The accessories are fine: all sorts of chargers (e.g., car and usb), hard and soft cases, all decent quality and look. All in all, the product and its accessories are practical and of good quality. Only the light at the tip makes it look a bit ‘cheap’, but that’s not that important. It’s easy and straightforward to use.
Although I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect cigarette replacement, I’d recommend the product for those who don’t want to smoke cigarettes all the time and wish to get a proportion of their nicotine-fix from an alternative source. I think one could switch to these completely (why not?), but it’s probably better to put down cigarettes all together if you can find the will to do so. I have no information about health-related issues regarding the use of e-cigarettes, but I’d think the lack of tar and carbon monoxide are a good starting point to make a case for them. For example, I had no problem with training after puffing a bit on this product, my lung capacity seemed intact. And with the price of cigarettes in the UK, this product is definitely cheaper, even on the not too long run. I’ll probably carry on using a low- or no-nicotine cartridge just to fiddle with something while in front of my computer in the office and puff a bit. To that end, it is perfect.”